Why Supernatural Should Have Ended With Season 5

The Supernatural fandom has been known to be passionate, so I’m sure this might be an unpopular opinion. However, I feel Supernatural has run its course, and should have ended with season 5. Running on for too long is a common problem in the TV world today, and it bothers me when show runners are willing to compromise their artistic integrity in order to make more money. There are a lot of shows on television now that should have ended a few years ago. I understand that it’s easy to continue on when you know you’re making good money off of something no matter if the stories create headlines or not, but is it worth investing so much time into creating a mediocre product?

From what I’ve read in interviews over the past few years, Supernatural was always supposed to end with season 5. Eric Kripke, the former show runner, had an endgame in mind from the start, and when season 5 came around we saw storylines from way back in season 1 being weaved into the season 5 plot and wrapped up in a great ending in the finale. In my personal opinion, it should have ended here, and based on the fact that Kripke chose to step down as show runner, I think it’s okay to speculate that he did to some extent feel that way too. He felt he had created a great show and told the story he wanted to tell, so why continue?

It is understandable that they would continue so they can maintain a steady income. It is a competitive industry to work in, and there are so many new shows that only last a couple of episodes before being cancelled. They had a good thing going for them, so why stop? My argument is that, as a writer, I don’t see how you can compromise your art just to make money. Eric Kripke did choose to step down, but I’m not sure he should have let someone else continue his project.

One could argue that the decision was for the fans. However, I don’t think that’s true, because while some people would have been disappointed by it ending, or the finale itself, I think most of them would learn to appreciate a so planned out show with five seasons telling one big story. There’s a reason why shows that know their end date are usually more appreciated in hindsight. If you look at shows like Veronica Mars, which never got an ending, or One Tree Hill which just went on and on until none of the storylines were original or believable anymore, you can appreciate a show ending at the top of their game.

Like I mentioned earlier, the Supernatural fandom is passionate, and I did at one point consider myself a part of it. I still like the show, but I don’t love it anymore, and I sometimes find myself wishing it had ended after season 5. This is not because I don’t enjoy an episode every now and then, but because it lacks the mythology and overlying plot that it had in the first 5 seasons. The season 5 finale wrapped everything up, and it now sometimes feels like I’m watching a new show with the same characters and the same back story. I don’t see a lot of complaints in Supernatural discussions online, or maybe it’s just that the fans who love the show no matter what are more vocal online, but I do feel it has lost some of its ‘magic’, and I miss being excited to see what comes next.

So, although Supernatural didn’t do it, I hope more shows (or show runners, rather) choose to end their show when they are still producing fresh and interesting material, and don’t keep on writing just because it’s a safe way to make money. A good example of a show that has chosen to do that is Breaking Bad, which is planning to end their show with season 5, and I’m looking forward to seeing them wrap up the story when and where they want to, not when the network feels it’s gone on for long enough.


28 Comments Add yours

  1. remoise says:

    as a fan myself of supernatural, I agree with you, for me the story end with the last episode of season 5.
    I have watch some episodes of the sixth season and didn’t like it, i don’t plan to watch the seventh season either. I’m done with this show, for me the end is the season 5, that’s all.

    1. Camilla says:

      Yeah, I did watch season 6 and it had some goo episodes, but in many ways I wish I had stopped with season 5 because the last season did take a lot away from my enjoyent of the show. I haven’t watched season 7 or bought season 6, and at the moment I’m not sure I will.

    2. Chris says:

      In “Swan Song” God typed the words “The End” into his computer, this was the intended end. The part with Sam showing up was added at the last minute as a tease for another season. The writers even said early on, they had always intended for 5 seasons.

  2. Hanna says:

    I completely agree with you. I just watched the Season 5 finale again at the beginning of an effort to catch up on seasons 6 and 7 and I got upset with it all over again. I respect Kripke for stepping down. If you take off the last moment of the episode you have a perfect and almost poetic ending to a strong series. And I love the Prophet Chuck.

  3. Kalisto says:

    Totally agree. All one has to do is ignore the cliffhanger at the end of season 5 finale. And you’ve got yourself epic story. When I saw the “end” I was amazed. When I saw 1st episode of 6th season I was like WTH. I still watch the show but it just doesn’t have the vibe anymore.

  4. Lillith says:

    Totally disagree… The show is still good and that is why it is still continuing.

  5. Masot says:

    Just blasted through this series at light speed over the past month, and I am in strong agreement with you. I find that seasons 1-3 have a problem similar to the X-Files, in that there’s a background story, but it rarely comes into play as the main characters hunt random monsters in unconnected episodes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s not really something you see in what I consider quality programming (shows with tightly scripted and engrossing story lines, such as Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad). But seasons 4 & 5 are truly excellent, tying together the previous strands of the show into a very solid plot line. I couldn’t put it down, honestly.

    But season 5 should have been the end. 6 & 7, it does feel almost like a completely different show, and a weaker one at that. The plots are trite and cliche, and it just feels like the show is muddling on with no real direction to speak of. It’s hard to imagine the show ending on a better note than the one they’ve thrown straight into the garbage…

    1. Camilla says:

      I love this comment! It’s more or less exactly how I feel about the show. I recently watched it again with my sister, as well as some of the later episodes that I’ve been ignoring, and I still feel seasons 4 and 5 are in a league of their own. It’s so unfortunate that they keep milking it for all it’s worth.

      Also, I can’t even say how much I love that your examples of great shows are Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad!

  6. midnightstrike3625 says:

    I love Supernatural and have been with the show since day 1. I completely agree with you; the show should have ended after season 5 as the ending was perfectly fitting. I’m probably in the minority here but I liked that Dean finally got some closure with Lisa because even in her debut in season 3 she was presented as the one girl dean was closest with. It also shows that Sam is still out there watching over Dean even after all they’ve been through. I think all seasons (all being seasons 1-5) are amazing, but 1 and 3 are my favorites. With season 6 you could tell the writers were attempting to unravell a completed story because Dean was with Lisa, and for the longest time she was just put to the side before losing her memories Also, Sam coming back soulless was a very dull plot twist. The only redeemable episode season six has to offer is the one where the brothers go into the lives of their respective actors (although sadly we are soon reminded it is a part of season 6 through the random demon that hunts them like an arnold schwartzenegger wannabe). Season 7 was even worse when they cut the impala, killed off bobby just to bring him back, and dull leviathan plot. Don’t even get me STARTED on how lame that was…. There was absolutely no emotion between Sam and Dean, and they were so hypocritical to their own beliefs that they made me wanna punch them in the face (Dean wanted to come back in the season 2 opener, yet he gets all pissed at bobby when HE wants to live? And Sam of all people….SAM talking about the right order of things). Overall, I thought season 6 was tolerable at first, but absolutely despise 7.

    Okay rant over ^_^ Seasons 6 and 7 were fanfiction lol

    1. Camilla says:

      First of all, if you actually see this reply, I apologize for being so slow to respond. Guess I get lazy in the summer:p I am also in the minority that enjoyed Lisa and what she brought to Dean’s character. I would have been fine with it ending on that bittersweet note of him returning to her. Like you mentioned, she was just thrown to the side when they returned, and I hate when they do that in narratives.
      I honestly don’t remember even half of the episodes in season 6 (which should enforce how disappointed I was), but I do remember finding some episodes entertaining. Tough I’m not fond of too much meta, the one you mention was fun.
      As for the seventh season, I really have no clue about it aside from catching a few scenes while my sister watches, and reading online, but it seems even the most diehard fans found it lacking, so I don’t think I would have liked it much.
      Lastly, thanks for commenting. I really like hearing what other people think;)

  7. Blaise says:

    I completely agree. I marathoned through seasons 1-7 and it got really tiresome at some point. It’s getting really repetitive too, with people coming back from the dead and people moving on or not moving on with their lives and the brothers telling lies and then finding out the truth etc and it’s just annoying me now, really. Everything else I wanted to say has already been said I think.

  8. Steph says:

    I agree I agree I agree!!!! I hate that they decided to continue it! And even more that they tried to create a whole new plot that has no ties with the previous stories! I still watch the show I admit, but in my opinion the real supernatural ended with season five. The characters in the show don’t even feel right anymore, thier trademark personalities feel kind of inconsistent, and the new episodes scream predictable. And people may argue with me that “they had to continue because of the unresolved ending of season five” but when I watched that I didn’t think it was unresolved at all, Sam obviously died and that was that.
    And now Greek Gods?? Really?

  9. Donald says:

    I completely agree with you. I still watch the show (guess it’s just my fanboyism) but it’s become tedious and predictable and none of the newer season antagonists have felt as menacing as Azazel, Lilith and of course Lucifer. It’s still fun to watch but the show doesn’t have that inspiration and complex mythology anymore and it just doesn’t feel as exciting anymore. The show seems to be suffering from the same problem Dragon Ball Z suffered from. Both series ended logically when the big villain that tied everything together was defeated. There’s just no reason to keep going when the story comes to a logical and satisfying closure point.

  10. Henry Song says:

    Hello guys. A Chinese supernatural fan here. LOL.

    I cannot agree more!!!!!

    Supernatural is the first American TV drama I watched and liked. It is just like a guide that introduced me to this fantastic American TV drama world. I remember I was sitting around in my dormitory one Sunday afternoon when I randomly ran into Supernatural on a website.

    I was like…completely and magically and crazily absorbed. I spent the next few days watching it and finished the first three episodes.

    I then recommended it to my friends and in no time students in my neighboring dorm rooms started to watch it.

    But this ended when Season 6 came out. We had all expected it to end at Season 5 because it could be a somewhat satisfying, if not perfect, ending. I managed to carry on with Season 6 and then Season 7 for a while when some of my friends had given it up during the first several episodes of Season 6. Finally I could not take it anymore. It is just a pity that some of the stories after season 5 are just…too exaggerated? I don’t even know how to describe. The storyline seems to have “gone rogue” and becomes unbelievable even for a supernatural story.

    Seems like a sad story. Anyway, I loved Supernatural. The first 5 seasons are going to be kept in my memory forever tagged as “best TV drama I’ve ever watched”.

  11. Lea says:

    Season 5 should have been the end of the road. They’re renewed for Season 9 when the fact of the matter is that it should be cancelled. I may stop watching at the end of this season. I used to love it. Now it’s boring.

  12. j. says:

    I agree and disagree. I agree that S5 ended the show on an epic moment that wrapped everything up nicely. That said, the mythology continues to grow and many old and new characters continue to make the show fun to watch. So, yes, S5 would have been a great place to end the show, AND I also agree that the writing hasn’t been as great (there’s a lot of conflict recycling going on), BUT… S6 through S8 have had some great acting and story moments.

    1. Camilla says:

      Thanks for commenting! I can’t really speak much for seasons 6 through 8 since I have only watched a handful of episodes from those seasons, but I have no trouble believing that the show still has a lot of good elements to it. The actors have always been great so if nothing else they will elevate the overall quality a lot I imagine. From what I have seen and read I am ultimately happy I chose to stop watching, but I also completely understand wanting to stick with it and see it through to the end 🙂 There is definitely a whole lot of shows on TV right now that are a lot worse than any bad episode of Supernatural could get!

  13. Faye says:

    I don’t see how you can compromise your art just to make money.

    That is exactly what I thought about him stepping down. Of course fans will always want more. More about the characters they’ve come to love. But a good storyteller should know when to end his/her story. Kripke’s story was told and done. And because of that, I think whether it’s Kripke or anyone else, it will be hard to make a satisfactory continuation

    Lately I’ve been considering to give S6 and forward a shot since my main show right now is currently… heading towards a not so pleasant direction thanks to the company. Which maybe make my decision to watch a show I’ve declared should have ended in S5 is not a very good choice. But anyway, haha, it seems a that a lot of old watchers basically suggested to think of Supernatural post-S5 as a different story with the same characters.

  14. Brad Harris says:

    I’ve said this since they renewed for season 6. Now I am slowly peeling away from the show, because try as they might, they will never top what they’ve accomplished with the first 5 seasons. I’ve at least watched those 5 seasons, 5 or 6 times all the way through, but there is only a handful I can stomach in each season afterwards. Lucifer was their ultimate enemy, and can’t be topped. Since then, they’ve lost Bobby, and Castiel hasn’t been the same. Those are 2 well developed characters just to cast aside, like the audience doesn’t care. My final opinion, if they were going to do any further storyline, it should have been done for the big screen. Either round two with Lucifer, brother vs brother, or an end game to rescue John Winchester. My choice… All of the above.

  15. trickster says:

    I just finished watching season 5 and its last episode was just perfect.It was realistic(except the part when Sam comes back)
    It was depressing which it has to be because we always knew that this couldn’t have a happy ending.
    Many here think that Dean’s leading a normal life is good but I find it sad.
    Although he always wanted it but obviously not in such manner.
    But it still was believable.
    Then,I saw the first episode of season 6 and the first thing that came to my mind was-‘They really ruined it,didn’t they?’
    It was so annoying and felt stretched.But I’ll continue to watch as I just can’t leave a show I love(or used to) in the middle.
    I’m so surprised because I never thought that I’d ever dislike it but I was proved wrong,unfortunately.
    Anyway,no point in whining about it :P.

    PS.Is Season 9 going to be the last?

  16. debz says:

    Season 5 finale should have been the end and Dean should have said yes to Michael. The showdown would have been more meaningful. Also would have been good to see Lucifer and Michael in full angel mode, wings, shiny eyes and swords rather than 2 guys in a field.

  17. Crogger says:

    Whilst I agree that season 5 would have been a great time to end tge show and that s6 & s7 were a bit weak, I thought that season 8 really recaptured the brilliance of the first 5 seasons. The tablets was a really good angle & the brothers rediscovered the emotional connection that went lacking. I have high hopes for season 9.

  18. Radio says:

    I actually watched up to the end of Season 5 and then stopped, thinking that was the end of the series. A long time later, I was watching some re-runs I didn’t recognize and was trying to figure out what season they were from. I was super surprised to know they continued it beyond Season 5! I guess I have several seasons to catch up on, but I agree the ending of 5 was perfect – there’s no way they can do better.

  19. Vince says:

    All good things must come to an end. Not ending the series at Season 5 was a big mistake.
    Supernatural was one of my most beloved show and sadly it transformed into something I barely recognize.

  20. Bob says:

    I agree that the show should have ended with season 5. It feels like the whole crew has been milking the story far too long. Let it go and come up with a new program for the CW.

  21. Word Nerd says:

    I don’t keep up with Supernatural anymore. I was excited it was renewed for a few more seasons, but the latest seasons have been…horrible. The plot veered off the road and is becoming too far-fetched. New characters keep popping up. It’s lost its luster.

  22. Don2 says:

    And here we are at Season 12!…I haven’t viewed this series for many seasons, now, having lost interest…this TV series should have ended LONG ago…many of the fan kids are now looking to compare it to the long running series of “Gunsmoke” wow!…unreal!…Sorry, but the story lines get more and more ridiculous. This is atypical of the creatively bankrupt writing ability in Hollywood.

  23. Bob says:

    This show needs to end with Season 13. That should be a fitting end.

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